Eczema is most often seen in children and infants. When a child has eczema, the skin becomes inflamed, red, and itchy, causing endless hours of discomfort. There is nothing more aggravating and heartbreaking for parents than seeing their child in pain. Thankfully, there are several things parents can do to care for their child’s eczema, helping to relieve the pain and hasten recovery.
The most important thing for parents to know is that they must stop the scratching. If eczema is scratch, it can worsen, resulting in more flare ups of more intensity. Scratching also causes abrasions that allows bacteria in to the skin. These bacteria can infect the area and cause the itchiness to get worse.
The best way to prevent scratching and the irritation of eczema is to moisturize the child’s skin, frequently and generously. Not all lotions and creams will be effective, though. Some of the best to keep the skin moisturized and soft are Vaseline, shea and coco butters, and other thick creams. Baby oil and coconut oil have also proven to be effective. Not only will these lock in the moisture, they will also help relieve the itching. While they should be applied several times a day, the most important times are after baths and before bed.
Using water as an anti-itch aid is becoming increasingly popular in the parenting community. Parents have started using wet wraps and cold compresses to keep the skin from itching and keeping little scratching fingers away from the affected area. Wet wraps can be used overnight to stop unconscious night itching. After a child is moisturized, wet bandages are wrapped over the eczema and then covered with dry gauze or towels. This will keep the area moist and protect the area. Cold compresses, like ice packs or baggies of ice, can be applied throughout the day to lessen itching. The compress can be wrapped in wet towels to add a layer of moisture.
Doctors can work with parents to find the right prescription to help fight eczema and its symptoms. Frequently, a doctor will prescribe topical steroids to help clear up persistent eczema. Not only do these medications help prevent infection, they also work as a moisturizer and anti-itch cream. While these steroid ointments might cause a thinning of the skin and might not kill all the bacteria, if a case is especially bad, it might be the only option.
There are certain measures parents can take to make sure their children don’t scratch and infect eczema. Keeping the child’s nails short and keeping the affected area covered are simple solutions until something more permanent can be decided on. However, if the eczema persists, the best thing to do is talk to a doctor.
Disclaimer: The information and materials on our website should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.